Reject the Pressure to Do It All

Reject the Pressure to Do It All

We modern women like to say we’re Super women when, in fact, we are women who simply do what we have to in order to survive. I have had to say NO many times in my life to participating in “good” things. But I learned that if I did not resist doing everything, I would wear myself down. Are you struggling to “do it all”? If so, let me help you: Just say no to what you do not have to do. Sure, it feels good to help out. It even looks good. But who are you fooling? You’re busy enough with your own load. Rest when you know you need it.

As women, our job list keeps growing. We are expected to keep a clean home, take care of spouses and kids, and many of us have jobs. Enough is enough. SAY NO! No more helping when you’re at your breaking point. Try it- “No”. See! Not as painful as it seemed. As human beings we need to rest, to do things for ourselves, to have adult conversation, etc. Reject that little voice that wants to make you feel guilty. Listen instead to your body and say NO.

I took a break today. It felt goooood. Did you? I said no today to a great opportunity. But I knew it would be a burden and a sleep stealer, so I passed.

Life isn’t easy. But let’s not add to the list if things to do. Take a break any way!

Wealth and the single mom

Wealth and the single mom

money jar2

 

I do not claim to have learned all there is to know about wealth. I myself am on a quest for knowledge and the total transformation of my life. Yet, I want to encourage every woman who is not living her financial dream to seek out advice, tips, books, instructors, etc., so they, too, can change their lives. The above picture is my actual change jar. It takes me a year or two to fill with my leftover change.  Once it’s full, I take it to one of those machines in the supermarket that counts it for you and collects a small fee in the process. I know. I should take it to my bank. See! I’m not a financial advisor. But, I am a mom who wants to leave a legacy.

Wealth is such a personal thing. I mean it’s relative right? Sure, some inherit it, but somebody somewhere had to first take a chance in the right direction and add in some hard work to build that pile of assets to, in turn, pass along.  I truly believe that as long as we have breath, we can change our lives for the better. That includes finances.

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” Wow! I want to do that! Don’t you? It may not happen for me or you the way it happened for others, but the truth is we need to start building (if we haven’t already).

I like to listen to a few folks on advice for saving. The Bible says, “There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors”. I say there is confusion in not having a plan. As a single mom, I have seen lack and abundance (my scale may be just getting by). It (life) has been smooth and it has been rocky. But, GOD has kept me and my boys. He has been faithful. Because of this, I like to be faithful with what he gives me. So, I believe that part of wealth creating is giving. I can’t say I always tithe like I want, but I give. I have charities I support. It makes me feel so good inside to help someone else in need. Try it. It’s amazing how even our little is sometimes greater than what some one else has.

If giving money is not feasible, please find time to show your kids how to give back to others by you all doing charitable work. If money is not a problem, consider mentoring other women on wealth creation. We are blessed to be a blessing.

Side note: The sense of entitlement of the youth these days is at an astronomical level. Even my own kids have tried to act as if the world owes the something. I quickly nip that in the bud. I have them help me serve, and I have them give away toys and clothes. I also had them pick out the boy we sponsor in Africa who is around their age. I talk to them about how blessed we are knowing that they don’t fully understand yet. But, I know one day it will be clear. As I work to build something to leave them, I want to leave my wealth to men who know how to handle it and who know the blessing they hold.

So moms, even if it’s five bucks a week, start saving now. Try the change jar idea. Or, refrain from the delicious $5 coffee for a few weeks and watch it add up. We have more than we think even when to us it is not enough. Saving is a family affair. Get everyone in on the conversation. Make it a contest if you can, but by any means, save.

I pray this post blesses you and your family, and you get started on building your empire.

“Saving is hard, and I have bills,” you say.

Do It Anyway!

 

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouragement has been hard for me to muster this week. I am usually the first to be bright-eyed and positive. I always have a word for those in need. But, this week was hard for me. Since it was hard for me, I know that it has also been for so many of you. Clearly the issues in the Middle East affecting persecuted Christians, the shooting death of a young black man in Ferguson, MO, and countless other issues in our world affected me. (Maybe they also affected you) As a Christian, my heart hurts for people period. I have and had a deep hurt that just wouldn’t/won’t leave for what is happening to women and children and people period all due to their personal religious beliefs. As an African American woman who is a parent, seeing what happened in Ferguson over the weekend and waiting on confirmation of what happened had me on edge. I was sad for the family, angered by what happened, afraid for my children growing up in a world that shoots before asking questions, etc. I mean, isn’t it normal to hurt for people you don’t know? Well, I think so. I have to live in this world, my kids do, you do and your loved ones. It is outrageous! We should all be upset. Most of us are.

I was so sad that I had to leave social media and pray. In prayer, I was able to remember that GOD truly has all things under control and it is in Him that I put my trust. I know my situation is not that of the parents mourning the loss of their child or the citizens who feel like prisoners in their own city, or the thousands fleeing their homes for fear of death. But, the impact of their trials affected me. It saddened me. My spirit was low. I wanted to help my brothers and sisters. What I could do in that moment was pray. I prayed and that encouraged me. I am so thankful that God is there no matter in what situation we find ourselves. I am so glad that His word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119:05). His word is life, encouragement, air. So, I come today with no solution to actual problems. I cannot bring anyone back, I cannot provide safety to those who have lost it all, but I can pray that the ONE who has the solution and is able to hide us in His secret place will do so. He can hide us in His arms, in His secret place (Psalm 91).

I have to believe that justice will be served in this life. As in past cases, when it is not, we go on peacefully trying to change laws to protect us and spread awareness to help others. But, we know that in the life to come, God says vengeance is Mine, I shall repay. And it is in that I put my hope. It is not ours to decide what we go through, but we know somehow we will make it. Just knowing that God has it under control puts me at ease. I can keep doing my best in a world that doesn’t always treat people the way they should. I can continue raising my boys to be the best citizens I can and yet teach them to protect themselves against possible police brutality, abuse, misuse of power. I can encourage someone today who is down because I have been and now have hope. Let this be your encouragement in the midst of your day. God will provide. Put your hope in Jesus for He cares for you.

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

PurposeThe word purpose has been a buzz word ever since Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. I mean I remember learning it in school and using it rarely, but oh my! when that book came out it was like cold milk on cornflakes- delicious! It was intriguing, soul-touching, thought provoking- an awesome book. But what is this post about? It’s about me simply encouraging you to find and pursue your purpose. We all have one. If you do not know yours yet, you should do a gift assessment test and some soul-searching. Most churches have their members take these so they can figure out where they can best serve. I know. Most of us are often are too busy to be alone with ourselves one minute to think about what we want. But, what we need is to do exactly that!

So, if you know what you were designed to do, great! Feels good. Right? But if you do not then here are four steps to get you walking out what you were made to do!

Step 1: Do the work to figure out what you are designed to do.

This is a step that only you can do. I encourage you to find some quiet time to be alone and be with you, yourself, and I. Ask yourself what makes you tick, what do you love to do, what would you do with no pay, and if you are already living and doing what you were meant to do. Next, if you are a believer like me, Ask God for direction. Jeremiah 29:11 says God has a plan for his children. A plan to prosper them and not to harm them. To give them a hope and a future (paraphrased). So, if you are like me then you want God’s blessing on your endeavors. Why not get His viewpoint before embarking? The only way to do that is to ask. How can you get the answer without spending time with Him? So, do the work of self-discovery, prayer, communing with God and preparing yourself for the answer. I say prepare because we’ve al heard the stories of people changing fields for purpose or moving and selling everything to follow their purpose. One thing we know is that if God is in it, it will be the best decision ever made. Enjoy this process and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know right away. Keep seeking and it will come. If God is in it, it’ll bless you.

Step 2: Give in to the call.

Once you know what it is you are to do, give in. I know I had a hard time accepting my purpose. I always knew from a young child that I would work in ministry, yet I’ve fought it for years. I now help in the Spanish ministry and it is an amazing feeling to know I’m helping people reach their goals of learning a new language and connect to Jesus in their language. I also get to walk in what I was meant to do. I knew I was a born leader and encourager, but I was an extroverted introvert. Lol! It’s possible. So, I had to give in to that persistent desire of my soul to help others. Maybe you are like me. You know you are supposed to be doing something, but for some reason haven’t started. Go on. Get started. You’re in for a powerful experience. Answer the call today. You’ll be glad you did.

Step 3: Start working even when you’re not ready

I and another lady wanted to teach a Spanish class. We didn’t have all the materials planned out but we had a plan. That’s all we needed. See, when you are in purpose, things will work out. We got started and had a huge turnout. We had time to get the program together before the first start day. But when we said yes, all we had was our desire to do it. We weren’t ready. We got ready after we said yes. The point is time won’t always wait for us. Opportunities come and go. Jump in their and help if you know God is leading you to do so. Perfection is a hold up. Get started helping as soon as you can. 

Step 4: Be open to new direction and inspiration.

We all have a purpose. That doesn’t mean you’ll have the same one your whole life. It may change or expand. Be open to new urges and sparks of creativity that say move in this direction. Prayer is an integral part of my figuring out where I need to be. So much of what I’ve accomplished is due to that feeling in my spirit that won’t subside. Following the regular route won’t do for that kind of passion. You have to chase it! So be open and go where you know you are supposed to be. Starting this blog was a part of my purpose. It has spiraled into many other opportunities that will come forth in the coming months. They all center in using what I am good at, what I am passionate about, and how they all work together to help others.

It is my hope that you have been encouraged to see what is next for you, what you were meant to do, and how you can begin to set about living your life’s purpose. What’s in you? Bring it out and Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

Saying No will set you free…

Saying No will set you free…

The headline on this post probably sent some people to the ER! Unintentionally, of course. But it’s true- Saying NO will give you peace, set you free, and give you that free time you’ve been wanting.  I don’t care that I am not given a perfect score on a daily basis by my boys (for whom I’d fight a lion, btw) or anyone else I come in contact with. I try, but I’m okay with failing in this department. Concerning my boys, there are so many reasons that they have in their hormonal, attitudinal, adolescent head for why I’m imperfect that they can’t see I’m absolutely perfect for them (The story of our lives. Right moms?). What does that mean? Lol! It means “Mom knows best” because mom has lived longer and was also a teen, but she’s in Warp Land where her kids don’t think she knows a thing. Experience trumps “Well, I think” every time. Case and point, my kiddos think I’m being mean when I’m being protective. They think I’m spoiling the fun when I say no to spending the night at a friends house I don’t know. They think I’m being cheap when I say no to $50 headphones ($50 freaking dollars!!!!) when I’m being careful with MY money. You see, the fog they live in has clouded their perception of reality, and I’m okay with that. Be delirious, make me the bad girl. Fine. To them, I say, “I’m still going to love you and discipline you through this phase, stage, fog, and “God help me” time of your lives”. <—- I think that last part only. 🙂

There are parents who would cringe at saying no or denying a toy/gift to their child. I say to you, “Be okay saying No” they must learn to hear that word before you send them into the world. And moreover, parenting is hard. It’s nor supposed to be easy. You are molding your baby into a responsible young adult that will be a citizen of the world. Let’s mold some who can hear a No and still chase their dreams. Who can get knocked down and stand up again. That starts at home in our care in the stuff of life. Let’s not care so much about being liked. Let’s care about their character, resilience, tenacity, and heart.

Kids not your fans? Parent Anyway!

Quote

Do It Anyway!

I want to encourage you to chase every dream you’ve ever had. Who knows what you will become if you look fear in the face and Do It Anyway! On the other hand, you know what you have if you do not. Go chase your dreams. You’ll be happy you did. Besides, don’t we have enough examples of “If I had only…”? Run into your destiny. I am.

A Little Motivation Goes a Long Way

A Little Motivation Goes a Long Way

I have had an interesting year. I started this blog and a few other passion projects seemingly all at once. I’m so passionate about these that I’m delving into them full fledge this summer. With that said, I want to encourage everyone but most especially my single parents to keep going toward your dreams. Life can throw you some curve balls, but you’ve got to swing at them to win the game. Keep pushing toward each goal you’ve set. It’ll happen if you do the work. I don’t care what your dream is. It will happen if you don’t give up.

What’s in you has to come out. Do you know the treasures you possess? If not, it’s time to do some soul searching. If you do, it’s time to make a move.

To stay inspired, I pray and seek God, listen to motivational music, read up on topics I’m interested in or curious about, and keep positive folks around and get rid of the negative. On the road to destiny, everyone can’t go. It’s sad but true. Don’t be shocked when you arrive at purpose and only have a few around you. Those are the ones who were “for” you.

So, what do you do to stay inspired? Leave me a post and let’s inspire each other on the journey.

Children need parents not more friends

Children need parents not more friends

Today, I received a reminder that parenting is hard. Not just single parenting, but parenting in general. Short story: My elder boy was sleeping in class. His teacher assigned him a 0. She may or may not have been shocked by my reply, but reply I did. It went something like this: ‘Good! And give him a detention, as well.’ You see, I’m not my kids’ friend. I’m their mother. Parenting means a little tough love every now and again will undoubtedly occur. He also is losing his cell phone and no PS3 for remainder of school year. Oh that’s not mean! That’s the consequence of staying up late when you were told to go to bed. It is also the added consequence of disrespecting an adult by sleeping in their class when they’ve planned a good lesson to teach you.

So, why this post? I share this to say if your kid makes silly choices, you’re not alone. If you are your kids friend, you need to stop. What happens when you’ve gone years without assigning consequences designed to deter negative behavior? Oh yeah! What happens is they go into adulthood with no limits, no respect, and are oblivious to why their lack of manners is offensive.

Please, parent your children while you can. They have enough friends.

Parenting is tough. Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

Being Happy Is a Choice

Being Happy Is a Choice

Today is my birthday. I’m home writing, working, and researching. But, I’m happy. Happiness is a choice. I write this little note to remind you- Choose to be happy. No matter what is going on around you, find your happy place and enjoy your life.

My life is not perfect. You can read past posts and find my kids are not perfect either. We are all imperfect people who love each other perfectly. We happily come back together and keep living. As happy as we can be.

So, with that in mind, I choose to be happy. I will enjoy my day and pray you will choose to enjoy yours. On the road of life, there are wrong turns, not so nice people and circumstances beyond our control, Do It Anyway.
Be blessed!

Kaydy

5 Challenges to being a single mom to boys during the teen years

5 Challenges to being a single mom to boys during the teen years

As my boys enter the teen years, I have begun to see changes in them. And in me. No one wants to see their kids go in different directions than originally planned when you first held them in your arms; but, sometimes, they do. I am witnessing the “Twilight Zone”. Some of you may be there with me. You know, the monosyllabic responses, no more hugs (because hugs are for little boys), and the “I heard you the first time but I will clean up when I feel like it”. (Previous items thought and not spoken of course. Mama don’t play that). Yet, I go through it because I love them, and I know deep down that this is “their” journey and not mine. I have to let them make some mistakes to learn. After all, isn’t that how we got to be so wise as adults?

Challenge 1: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 2: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 3: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 4: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.
Challenge 5: Not answering that urge to pop them when they say something smart.

Yes, I noticed all my challenges are the same. And yes, currently, this is my hardest task. I remind myself they are boys becoming men. Hormones are raging and things are happening to them that they do not quite understand. And the Lord knows that neither do I. This is why I have sought out mentors. I’m placing good godly men in their lives. I make sure to keep them in physical activities so that they can let out that steam. Is it easy? No! I cry inside missing my babies. Yet, this is new frontier and we have to brave it together. Discipline does happen at my house. I take things like ALL the ELECTRONICS. And there is no returning them until politeness and actual speaking English to me and not mumbling has returned. Let’s face it. My kids are almost as tall as me and one is bigger, so spanking went away a while ago. But, what I do is talk to them and let them know why they are losing their beloved toys. I call them on their bad attitudes and remind them that we operate in respect in this house. Is it easy? No. But, I have been a teenager before and this is how I know they will survive and so will I. Got the above challenges in your home? Do the work and assess what needs to be removed to get order back. I have some peace right now and it feels good. It’s amazing what no Call of Duty or PS3 will do for the morale in your home. I also recognize that they need someone to talk to about guy stuff and life as a teen. I’m not capable of fully understanding and guiding them in that department although I do my best. I will see them through this even if all my hair goes gray. Challenges come. We nor our kids are perfect. Dig in, do your best, and refuse to lose.

On the road of life, nothing is easy. Do It Any Way!

Kaydy